MUSIC REVIEW: Portishead

Island Records

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It’s been nearly ten years since the release of their last album, but now Bristol’s Portishead are back with their third studio album, aptly titled Third and it’s more than worth the wait.

A sense of foreboding hangs over the album, adding a feeling of mystery to the disc’s dark tunes. Beth Gibbons plaintive voice soars with equal parts warning and yearning on songs like the mystical “Hunter” and the deliciously hypnotic “Nylon Smile.” “Machine Gun” offers a rata-tat-tat of adrenaline, while Gibbons sings “Savior come my way / I thought I’d see you in the cold light of day.” One of Third’s most fascinating tracks, the percussion heavy “We Carry On,” tick-tocks like a heart beat or perhaps an internal metronome for the soul.
A haunting song called “Threads” closes the album and as Gibbons’ wail fades out, you can’t help but hope we don’t have to wait another decade before we hear some more.

Amy Wagner

Here’s the first video for the single “Machine Gun” off Portishead’s new album Third:

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